Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Pitchers and the Spotlight Effect

If you ever took a psychology course then you probably know that there are many things that can impact how we perceive the world around us.  Quite often our perceptions are flawed as a result.  Concepts like confirmation bias,... 

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Within three pitches

Tired of these games? Successful pitching at any level is not rocket science.  Get ahead and force them to put the ball into play.   There are very few situations in the game where a strikeout is necessary.  2nd and 3rd and... 

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The good and bad of golf during baseball season

There have been several times where I have watched a batter for the first time during a hitting lesson and asked the player, “How long have you played golf?”  The response has always started with a look that said... 

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Accelerate the barrel through the zone

Accelerate the barrel and attack the baseball! One of the hundreds of baseball sayings my dad passed on to me growing up was, “The ball will not jump off the bat by itself.  You have to make it jump off your bat.”... 

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Strikeouts are killing baseball

No worries. Apparently nobody cares anymore. When I was in the Twins organization, I had a teammate who was a power hitter who struck out a lot.  Another teammate was kidding him about his strikeout totals and the power hitter... 

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Baseball has a problem

A friend sent this photo from a game he was watching yesterday.  Yes, “TJ” stands for “Tommy John” surgery.  And this is only one team at one level. Folks, there are serious problems in the game of baseball.... 

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Why don’t more catchers drop a knee?

Yadier Molina takes a knee Being a catcher has to be the most physically demanding job on a baseball field.  Heck, my knees hurt just warming up a pitcher for a few throws.  I can’t imagine squatting down day in and day... 

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Cardinal sins of base running

If you have watched MLB highlights over the past few days then you probably have seen this play from Yadier Molina. The base runner who went to third on the walk broke three (yes, a MLB player committed THREE!!!!) cardinal sins... 

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10 reasons to front-toss

Sitting or standing, underhand or overhand, front-toss is tough to beat. There are several ways to practice hitting.  Live BP and hitting off a tee are popular ones.  All have value but in my opinion and all things considered,... 

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Beating a slow pitcher with your feet

Ask any Major Leaguer who they would rather face – a hard throwing guy bringing it 93mph or a soft throwing guy who throws anywhere from 75-86 mph – and I bet well over 85% of them will say “bring on the hard... 

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Snap your swings like a boxer

Today’s video tip involves a phrase I have been using with my son recently in order to increase his bat speed.  The phrase is “snap your swings.”  As you will see, it is related to the sport of boxing. Share... 

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What are your hitting cues?

Know your cues and adjust them as needed Every hitter has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses.  Some are great at pulling the ball but not so great at staying back and going the other way.  Others are just the opposite.... 

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Happy Easter

Have a great holiday everyone!  Good luck if you are playing this weekend!  Family is going on vacation so the next post will be Tuesday! Enjoy the break! Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailPrint Read More →

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Brandon Phillips’ secret weapons

Phillips’ training paddle The past few winters I’ve had the pleasure of working with a major league scout/coach who is very high up in the Cincinnati Reds organization.  On the last clinic day before he had to leave... 

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The (un)holy alliance between pitchers and catchers (Part 2)

A few months ago I shared a photo that was circulating on social media which appeared to show a “dark substance” on the shin guard of a Major League catcher.  I implied that it was pine tar to help the pitcher.  I’m... 

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If you can’t play catch, you can’t play baseball

Not sure when this basic skill became so hard The last part of the Bible is referred to as “The Last Days” and lists seven prophecies that some claim will predict and lead us towards the end of the world.  If my... 

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Coaches, be in Code Yellow off the field too

Always be in Yellow In my last post, I wrote about the topic of mindset and presented four color codes that should guide the thinking of players. These codes were based on the work of Colonel Jeff Cooper as described. Once again,... 

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Color Coded Mindsets For Baseball

If you have been in the Marines or are in the gun world, you probably have heard of Colonel Jeff Cooper.  Cooper was considered to be one of the world’s top experts on the use and history of small arms (handguns). Among... 

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Confronting bad body language

A player’s bad body language on a field is one of my pet peeves.  Like many coaches, I despise it and do not tolerate it on my teams.  That being said, I also do not jump down a player’s throat when I see it the... 

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Body language matters

A few days ago, the following video clip of a 2016 Geno Auriemma, head coach of the powerhouse UConn women basketball team, press conference surfaced again and has gone virus through social media.  If you have a young player... 

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Just in time learning for new coaches

Get out there and learn as you go! Entering the coaching world for the first time can be pretty stressful.  You realize very quickly that being in charge of a team is very different from only having to worry about your own performance... 

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Simulated indoor game

Where I am in Pennsylvania, snow blankets the ground and the temperatures are still in the 30-40 degree range.  Not great baseball weather to say the least.  Scrimmages and games are cancelled and players have to make the trek... 

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Just “tie your shoes”

“Tie your shoes” This is the last post in a series of recent posts on the importance of creating a routine as a hitter.  The previous posts on the subject are linked here: What is your hitting routine? What are YOUR... 

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Why do players choke?

Don’t think. Just ride. Today’s post is in a series of posts dedicated to hitters who can benefit from a routine prior to their at-bats.  The prior three posts related to this topic are linked below.  The final one... 

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A hitter’s routine and Muscle Memory

Two of last week’s posts centered around the importance of hitters developing a personalized routine to prepare for at-bats.  If you did not get a chance to see them, you can click on their titles below. What is your hitting... 

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Free video with Four-Week Guide for pitchers ends tonight!

Plus a FREE BONUS video on Change-ups! Happy Friday! The weather where I am in Pennsylvania looks horrible for the next 10 days or so which obviously makes it tough to develop your players, especially pitchers. My Four-week guide... 

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What are YOUR players doing on deck?

The photo to the right was forwarded to me by a good friend who said it was making the rounds on social media.  As you can see, a total of four hitters are currently in their hitting routine.  To see this many hitters involved... 

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What is your hitting routine?

Two circles with the bat. Deep breathe. Bring it! Take a pitch. Step out. Adjust the left batting glove. Adjust the right batting glove. Tap the right foot with the bat. Tap the left foot with the bat. Step into the box and dig... 

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FELT goals for baseball success

I hate this game. I hate this game. I hate this game. Baseball is quite possibly the most confidence and esteem crushing sport in existence.  No other sports punishes players for doing everything right.  A batter perfectly approaches... 

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A tip to keep the catcher back on sac bunts

Today’s video tip is a higher level one for base runners. It involves a situation where the batter poorly bunts a pitch just in front of home plate. Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailPrint Read More →

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Make a deposit every game

Baseball wealth comes from a lot of small deposits over time Go to any book store and you will see tons of books related to financial success.  Each one claims to have the secret formula to reaching your financial dreams.  I’m... 

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Parents and playing time

Dude, if you want to stay in games you have to get your mom to talk to Coach Madden. Ask a coach about dealing with parents and you are likely to get several eye-rolls and a few choice words.  I’m not sure who said it but the... 

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A small tip for faster sprints

One big problem a lot of young sprinters have is that they cannot get out of their own way. They never allow their body to function at 100% because they use poor running skills that often lead to too much tension. Loosen up that... 

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Do simple better

One of Joe Maddon’s many great sayings is “Do Simple Better.“ Spring Training has begun for pitchers and catchers and do you know what drills they are all doing? Answer: The same ones they did last year.  And... 

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How to read a hitter’s swing

To play infield at the higher levels requires physical talent but also a lot of awareness.  Look around you and you’ll begin to notice a lot of information that you can use to become a better infielder even before the ball... 

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The And-1 mentality

   AND-1 !! Kyrie Irving takes it down, he’s looking to get it to Lebron.  He dishes it off to Kyle Korver.  Bounce pass to Kevin Love.  Back to Irving.  He get’s it out to Korver at the 3-point line.  Doesn’t... 

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Make more mistakes in practice

Practicing is a chance to push yourself to do things better and faster.  It’s also a time to learn and work on new things.  Approach practice with those goals and you can’t help but make mistakes.  It’s the... 

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You are your best coach

When a player of mine made a mistake on the field, I frequently would ask the following question when he came off the field.   “Do you know what you did wrong?“ For my older players and even some of my little league players,... 

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What does it mean when a hitter “leaks”?

Today’s post was inspired by a reader who emailed me about his son who is apparently “leaking.”  The reader wasn’t sure what the term meant.  The term is also something I have dealt with recently now... 

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Get your 4-week guide for pitchers and a free video

Plus a FREE BONUS video on Change-ups! February is now upon us and you know what that means … Baseball season is just a few weeks away! Last year around this time I created an eBook called Off-Season Pitching Guide: A four... 

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The two most important priorities of hitting – Part 2

In Part 1, I showed and discussed what I feel is hitting Priority/Procedure #1 (Get your body to maximum athleticism when your stride foot lands).  If you have not yet looked at that post, please do because I also gave some insight... 

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The two most important priorities of hitting – Part 1

There are two (mechanical) priorities or procedures that I focus on the most when I teach hitting.  Do these two things and most everything else falls into place.  Fail to do them and it won’t matter how much you learn... 

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Do you have Superman Syndrome?

Is this you? It’s very easy for baseball coaches to get burned out.  Unfortunately, many coaches are their own worst enemy when it comes to having enough of the game.  A big reason for that is “Superman Syndrome.”   Superman... 

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How to instantly improve your infield range

When infielders start out in baseball, they mostly get instructed to charge the ball.  You’ll hear tee-ball, coach-pitch, and Little League coaches frequently say “move in on the pitch,” “move to the ball!”... 

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How to practice Web Gems

I could watch ESPN’s Web Gems all day long.  Having been an infielder for most of my playing career, I have an enormous respect for what MLB infielders are able to do on seemingly impossible plays.  However, Web Gems are... 

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Coach hitters like an economist

It has been said that the enemy of the dictator is the economist.  The dictator wants to make all the rules.  They also want everyone to like the rules and to not criticize them. “I make the rules, they will work, and... 

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Managing the 1st and 3rd play: A tip for catchers

One of the toughest plays for young teams is the 1st and 3rd play.  The runner on first base steals and if the catcher throws it to second, the runner on third scores.  If the catcher just holds it, you know have two runners... 

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Who are you chasing?

Who are you chasing? We’ve all seen many underdog players or teams overachieve.  On the flip side, we’ve also seen many incredibly talented players and teams underachieve.  Both seem to happen so often that there... 

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Get some safety glasses!

Today’s video addresses an important safety warning and tip for baseball players.  I even threw in a blooper clip at the end!  Other related posts about armband exercises are below the video.     Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailPrint Read More →

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Burn the boats!

Burn your boats! Some seniors in college know for sure that pro ball is in their future.  Some know that pro ball is definitely not going to be an option.  This post is for players who are stuck in between.  Some of you who... 

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